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During World War II (1939-45), the Enola Gay, a modified Boeing B-29 bomber, dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945. It was piloted by Paul W. Tibbets Jr. (1915—) of Miami, Florida. The bombardier was Thomas W. Ferebee of Mocksville, North Carolina. Bomb designer William S. Parsons was aboard as an observer.
Three days later, another B-29 called Bock's Car dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. The two bombs together leveled both cities, killed about 150,000 Japanese citizens, and induced radiation sickness in countless others. The Japanese surrendered unconditionally on August 15.
The Enola Gay has been on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., since June 25, 1995. It will remain there indefinitely. Bock's Car is on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio.
Sources: Facts On File News Digest with Index, vol. 5, no. 250 (August 1-7, 1945), p. 244; Milestones of Aviation, p. 195; Morlan, Michael. Kitty Hawk to NASA; A Guide to U.S. Air and Space Museums and Exhibits, p. 201.
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